Posted by Techvibes Newsdesk, March 6, 2012
Earlier today, we reported that the cloud will help create 70,000 new jobs across Canada over the next three years. Vancouver will be a leader in this growth, boasting 6,000 new cloud-related jobs by 2015.
One local success story courtesy of the cloud is VRX Studios, a full-service photography and content management company specializing in the hotel space. For a decade, VRX's home-grown digital asset management system served it well—but eventually, it could no longer support the expanding company's growth.
VRX was in a pickle. It needed a highly scalable, enterprise-class solution to meet the needs of 10,000 hotel customers worldwide and a whopping 20 terabytes of data. Enter the cloud.
“We knew we needed to build a system that was 100 per cent cloud-based in order to eliminate the enormous capital expenses that would be required to launch a global solution and to reduce operating costs to a small fraction of what an on-premises or collocated system would,” says David MacLaren, President and CEO, VRX Studios. "Using Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform, we developed the first 100 per cent cloud-based digital asset management system to improve our content production, licensing and distribution business. Since building the core system, we’ve branded it MediaValet
and now offer the solution as a stand-alone SaaS product, providing cloud-based digital asset management services to companies of all sizes, industries and locations. Due to the demand that we’re seeing for this new product, we expect MediaValet to surpass the success of VRX Studios within the next few years.”
“Taking advantage of Windows Azure's global infrastructure, scalability and flexibility, David and his team have focused all their efforts on developing a first-class Cloud application,” Kim Akers, general manager for global ISV partners at Microsoft, said last year
. “MediaValet has truly embraced all that Windows Azure offers to help them deliver a Cloud-based digital asset management system that has enormous potential for customers in a wide range of industries.”
To view the full article at Techvibes, please click here.
Microsoft's Release yesterday is generating a lot of buzz. Here's a great article by Russ Martin at Canada.com that focuses on the pervasiveness of the cloud.
Cloud computing to create 70,000 jobs in Canada
By Russ Martin, March 7, 2012
Cloud computing–the use of external systems to host data and even run software–may be at its tipping point: A recent study commissioned by Microsoft has revealed that cloud computing may create as many as 70,000 jobs across Canada.
Companies like Amazon and Microsoft have long been using the cloud to host their services but now industries outside of IT, including small businesses, are moving to the cloud.
According to John Weigelt, National Ttechnology Officer at Microsoft Canada, many of the 70,000 jobs will be in marketing, admin and other non-tech related fields; even plumbing or carpentry.
Cloud computing is expected to create as many 14,500 jobs by 2015 in Toronto and an additional 6,000 in Vancouver. But the impact will go far beyond the major cities, Weigelt said.
“Cloud has an impact across Canada. Often we think of pockets of innovation in the country, be they Vancouver or Toronto, but it’s interesting to note that the cloud has a positive economic impact across the Canadian economy,” he says.
As businesses spend less money on locally hosted and updated computing systems, they will have increased budgets to hire additional staff and focus on their businesses’ core offerings, Weigelt adds.
Suresh Bhat has seen the impact of cloud computing first hand. As an associate at Extreme Venture Partners, Bhat works with startups that are looking for their big break.
“Cloud has changed the way we make our investment decisions,” Bhat says. “We don’t have to invest as early in companies who just have ideas and don’t have a product. They can build stuff themselves using the cloud.”
The shift from heritage systems to cloud computing has had a big impact on the startup scene. “The cloud paradigm has really shifted the way things are. Five or 10 years ago, people weren’t depending on the cloud as much, maybe for liability issues, but now I think the cloud has become quite predominant now in the startup scene,” he said.
David MacLaren, President and CEO of VRX studios in Vancouver, is another proponent of the cloud. His company has been using cloud technology for two years.
“What it allows us to do is focus, 100 per cent of our time, resources and brain power on building the best application that we can,” MacLaren said.
He said many of VRX’s clients and partners are starting to gain interest in the cloud, too. “I think within the next couple of years the cloud will be pervasive within the majority of companies,” he said. “Each of the companies that we’re talking to is now starting to talk about the cloud.”
At what point will cloud computing become the standard for businesses? John Weigelt is hesitant to make a guess but eventually said he thinks the cloud may be pervasive before the end of the year.
“It’s always a risky thing to make that point in time prediction,” he says, “2011 in my mind was the year of demystifying the cloud. In 2011 people really got their head around what the cloud could do for their businesses.”
David MacLaren won’t pin down a date, either, but he knows that it is close. “It’s coming. I don’t think it’s here yet for general consumers, but it’s coming very quickly,” he said.
To view the full article at Canada.com, please click here.
Photo Studio Turns Data Issue into Cloud Gold
By Christopher Rogers, March 5, 2012
Two years ago VRX Studios had a big problem. A global photography company, the firm was trying to manage a rapidly growing media library that at the time had just surpassed 20TBs. The digital asset management system it was employing could no longer handle the scale or growth of the company’s data.
Understand, in 2009 VRX was engaged in content production, management, distribution and licensing for roughly 8,000 hotels. These assets were not limited to photos of hotels, but also included hospitality and travel-related videos, slideshows, virtual tours, and interactive maps.
The Vancouver-based company used a custom-built asset management system and had grown as new clients came on board. As a result the architecture of the system was becoming too complex to support. The system was collocated in Houston, Tex., which complicated frequently-needed server and storage additions.
Having physical servers was difficult because of fluctuating storage and processing requirements.
David MacLaren, president and CEO of VRX Studios, said he needed a system that could handle the amount of data and users, and grow with the company.
“We also needed a system that could be easily accessed by our customers throughout North America, Europe and Asia,” he said.
The fact that the servers were hosted in Houston was a problem. It worked well for the company’s North American customers, but not for those overseas.
The terms were set. VRX needed a cost-effective, globally accessible digital asset management system able to handle large amounts of data, file types and users.
A cloud-based solution seemed like a natural fit, but MacLaren lamented that when the company went looking there was no product that fulfilled the firm’s unique needs. He described two options, both of which would require collocating to at least one data centre on each continent:
1: purchase a system that had all of the required features;
2: purchase a system that didn’t have all the features and customize it.
Collocation was an expensive and time-consuming proposition, according to MacLaren. The equipment would cost plenty, it would be expensive to implement, and expensive to manage over the long term.
As neither optioned worked for VRX, MacLaren and his team turned to the cloud. While there weren’t many cloud platforms that would meet VRX’s needs, there was one that did.
In 2009 Microsoft was coming out of beta with Windows Azure, a platform as a service offering that could provide the basis for what MacLaren and his team at VRX needed.
The Azure platform would also allow the solution to be globally accessible at launch. That revelation prompted a massive shift in VRX’s approach to the tool.
The solution went from a tool built specifically to meet a single pain point to a product that would solve more than one issue.
The tool was custom-built on Azure and within a few months it was offered to VRX’s hotel customers so they could access the content that VRX created for them. VRX referred to it as its “Digital Asset Management Service.” MacLaren said the reaction from the customers was significant and many asked if they could use the tool to manage non-VRX assets they owned.
MacLaren now had a custom cloud digital asset management product used by thousands of hotels. VRX called it “MediaValet,” but the system seemed a good fit for other industries as well.
“We did a little bit of online advertising, just to see if there was a market outside of the hospitality and travel industries and we were overwhelmed by demand,” he said.
MediaValet has since become its own standalone brand, to make it more accessible to new clients who wouldn’t be familiar with the VRX brand.
MediaValet now has clients in industries from manufacturing to real estate, construction to advertising. MacLaren, who now heads both VRX and MediaValet, attributes much of this cross-industry, cross-continent success to the Azure platform.
“I think Azure is going to do this for a lot of companies,” he said. The platform makes it easy to build the required tools and make them available cost effectively – keys for startups, MacLaren said.
“Platform-as-a-service cloud offerings are going to enable companies of various sizes, across industries, to reduce their IT costs, improve their productivity, and uncover new product and service offerings,” he said.
To view the full article on Channel Insider, please click here.
This article was written by Nelson Bennett of Business in Vancouver in response to Microsoft's Release yesterday regarding IDC's recent study on the rapid growth of the Cloud and it's affect on new job creation around the world.
Moving to the Cloud Creates Jobs: VRX Studios
By Nelson Bennett, March 7, 2012
Moving to the cloud could foster 6,000 jobs in Vancouver over the next three years, according to a study commissioned by Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT).
Microsoft, which uses its massive data centres to provide cloud computing, commissioned IDC to study the job creation power of cloud migration.
The IDC study concluded cloud computing could create 14 million jobs worldwide over the next three years, 70,000 Canada-wide and 6,000 in Vancouver – a claim dismissed by TechEYE.net as “drivel.”
Earlier this year, at its annual technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) predictions, Deloitte said cloud migration is happening slower than the hype would suggest.
But David MacLaren, founder and CEO of Vancouver-headquartered VRX Studios Inc., has become an evangelist for cloud computing, which he said does create new job opportunities.
That may seem counterintuitive, since significant numbers of IT staff become obsolete when much of a company’s server needs are outsourced. But in VRX’s case, the move spawned a whole new business division: MediaValet.
VRX Studios produces, distributes and manages about four million photographs of 8,000 hotels around the world. This requires a lot of data storage (20 terabytes), which the company previously managed in-house. But when the company decided it needed a new data centre, it opted for Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform instead.
The cloud option was 50% cheaper than staying in-house, MacLaren said. And as a consequence of the move, the company also decided to build a new digital asset management system – MediaValet – which turned into a new business division serving VRX Studios’ hotel clients, as well as other companies needing a digital asset management system to handle large volumes images and documents.
“The cloud not only enabled us to save money, it also opened up an entirely new opportunity for us that we hadn’t ever considered, and that was building our own digital asset system on the cloud,” MacLaren said.
MediaValet has created 15 new jobs, said MacLaren, who expects to see another 10 added by the end of the year.
To view the full article on Business Today, please click here.
Cloud powers innovation, spurs sky high job growth in Canada and across the globe
By Canada Newswire Group, March 6, 2012
To view the full infographic, please click on the image above.
New IDC study says cloud will deliver almost 6,000 new Vancouver jobs by 2015; 70,000 in Canada
VANCOUVER, March 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Cloud technology is expected to create millions of new jobs around the world and will be an important force in inspiring the business innovation needed to restore global economic health, according to a new IDC study released today. The study, commissioned by Microsoft, found that by the end of 2015, nearly 14 million new jobs will be created worldwide, and just over 70,000 across Canada.
In Vancouver, new jobs related to the cloud will increase an average of 20 per cent annually, resulting in almost 6,000 by 2015.
The cloud is a web-based way to process, manage and store data - an IT solution so cost-effective that businesses of all sizes are moving away from the expensive maintenance of legacy systems, and instead opting to build on top of the cloud's common infrastructure. By using the cloud's global scalability, businesses can, in turn, invest those savings directly into business innovation.
IDC reports that worldwide, at least 75 per cent of IT spending is currently tied up with the maintenance of legacy systems and routine upgrades.
"By harnessing the power of the cloud, businesses benefit from reduced fees and equipment costs, and in turn free up IT staff to turn their focus to more mission-critical and strategic tasks," says John Weigelt, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada. "But we often overlook one of the cloud's most compelling benefits: by empowering business innovation and increasing revenues, using cloud technology can lead to job creation across all sectors, and in turn, drive Canada's economy forward."
The IDC also reveals several other interesting cloud facts:
- In 2011, more than $28 billion was spent on cloud services worldwide.
- In 2011, the cloud helped businesses around the world generate more than $400 billion in additional revenues and 1.5 million new jobs. More than 50 per cent of those jobs accrued to small and medium businesses.
- By 2015 in Vancouver, businesses with less than 500 staff (SMEs) will see an increase of more than 2,900 new jobs, while larger enterprise companies will increase by more than 3,000 jobs.
"At Microsoft, we're challenging businesses to really see the path that the cloud offers: increased flexibility and technology cost savings, allowing for greater productivity, more innovation, and as eventually, business growth," says Weigelt. "Businesses across the globe are realizing that if they act now, they will reap big benefits both today and into the future."
Vancouver-based VRX Studios has been reaping the benefits of the cloud. After ten years of faithfully serving the company, VRX Studios' home grown digital asset management system wasn't able to support the company's size, scale and growth rate. Realizing its dilemma, VRX Studios needed to quickly find a new, highly scalable, enterprise-class digital asset management system that could meet the global needs of its business. With over 10,000 hotel customers around the world and more than 20 terabytes of data, the benefits the cloud offered were too good to ignore.
"We knew we needed to build a system that was 100 per cent cloud-based in order to eliminate the enormous capital expenses that would be required to launch a global solution and to reduce operating costs to a small fraction of what an on-premises or collocated system would," says David MacLaren, President and CEO, VRX Studios. "Using Microsoft's Windows Azure
platform, we developed the first 100 per cent cloud-based digital asset management system to improve our content production, licensing and distribution business. Since building the core system, we've branded it MediaValet
and now offer the solution as a stand-alone SaaS product, providing cloud-based digital asset management services to companies of all sizes, industries and locations. Due to the demand that we're seeing for this new product, we expect MediaValet to surpass the success of VRX Studios within the next few years."
Microsoft offers a variety of cloud computing solutions worldwide, ranging from platform and infrastructure offerings (Windows Azure, Windows Server), productivity offerings (Office 365) and private cloud solutions (Windows Server, System Center) to consumer-focused offerings (Xbox Live, Hotmail).
For more information on Microsoft's cloud services, please visit www.microsoft.com/cloud.
To view the full article on Canada Newswire Group, please click here.
Our CEO and CTO, David MacLaren and Jean Lozano, were on hand at the IMPACT Awards Gala in Toronto on Thursday night to receive the 'Windows Azure ISV Partner of the Year Award' in the Emerging Technologies and Innovation category. It was a star filled night for David and Jean as they were surrounded by Microsoft's top technology partners in Canada.
From the podium at the IMPACT Awards, David thanked those who helped us win the award:
“A big thank you goes out to Microsoft for creating the Windows Azure cloud platform that enabled us to create MediaValet, to the Microsoft teams in Canada and the US that have done such a tremendous job in supporting us over the past year, and to everyone at MediaValet and our parent company, VRX Studios, for all their hard work, dedication and commitment to MediaValet’s success.”
Here's a picture of David and Jean (sporting their Movember "staches") with Eric Gales, the President of Microsoft Canada, who was at the gala to personally congratulate the winners.
VRX Studios, and its sister company MediaValet, have been selected as one of three finalists for the ‘Windows Azure Platform ISV Partner of the Year’ award in the ‘Emerging Technologies and Innovation Awards’ category of Microsoft 2011 IMPACT Awards.
The ninth annual IMPACT Awards recognize excellence within Microsoft’s partner community in Canada. The 2011 IMPACT Award finalists will be honoured at a gala event taking place on November 30th, 2011, in Toronto, ON.
Our founder and CEO, David MacLaren, recently shared his cloud-computing experience with the 7,500 entrepreneurs, in 38 countries, that make up the global Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Writing for Overdrive, the official blog of EO, David shared his experience developing our sister brand, MediaValet, on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-platform.
David’s main point in the article: Cloud-computing not only saves entrepreneurs time and money, but provides further benefits including scalability, accessibility, security, faster time to market and a significant reduction in upfront capital expenditures.
Our founder and CEO, David MacLaren, was recently interviewed by renowned technology publication, GigaOM, regarding our sister brand, MediaValet, and the decision to utilize Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-platform. Barb Darrow, contributing editor to the online magazine, spoke with a number of industry experts, including David, about Azure and how Microsoft is fairing in the Cloud.
In speaking with Barb, David pointed out that we chose to build MediaValet on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-platform because most of our 10,000 plus hotel customers already have Windows expertise and that Azure enabled us to ‘tap into’ Microsoft’s Content Delivery Network (CDN) as needed: “it takes two minutes to turn on CDN to light up 25 additional data centers around the world — all without calling (a company like) Akamai and telling them how we want it done.”
VRX Studios and MediaValet were featured by KMWorld, an online publication that covers the latest in Content, Document and Knowledge Management. The article, entitled "Digital Asset Management Supports a World of Rich Media", gives a brief overview of the digital asset management market, emphasizes the importance of metadata in facilitating search and gives an overview of the myriad benefits DAMS bring to organizations. The article also chronicles VRX's decision to use Microsoft's Azure platform to build their own flexible, massively scalable, globally accessible DAMS - MediaValet.
Please click here to access the full article.